Recent scary reports in the press and on TV have suggested vegetarians and especially vegans should give their dietary options a rethink as Vitamin B12 can only be found in meat as a food source. As a vegetarian who could never go back to eating meat again, I wanted to look further into this and find out where Vitamin B12 can be found and also why the vitamin is fundamental to good health.
The Food Standards Agency says: “If you eat meat, fish (salmon and cod) or dairy foods then you should be able to get enough vitamin B12 from your diet.”
Other recommended food sources which are vegetarian-friendly include: milk, cheese, eggs, yeast extract plus fortified breakfast cereals. As the vitamin is not found in vegetables, fruit or grains – vegans can become deficient and may require a daily vitamin b12 supplement. However, many vegan foods are supplemented with vitamin B12 so it is important to check food contents to ensure you are getting the right daily amount.
Vitamin B12 has a number of important functions and is an essential nutrient in our diet: it makes red blood cells which keep the nervous system healthy, helps to release energy from the food we eat and is also needed to absorb folic acid.
Food for thought indeed.